Managing Oneself

Choices are tough. If you don’t have any choices you’re left feeling trapped. If you have two or more choices there’s always the fear of making the wrong one. How do you manage yourself? What are ways to stay true to the self, not succumb to external pressure and be at peace even when you close a certain door? 

In the course of making a career move I had to choose between two comparable offers. One was, on the surface, tougher, but with better pay and benefits. Another was more relaxed, more intimate and with more autonomy, but like most startups doesn’t come with the perks a larger platform offers. Both have great learning opportunities. How does one choose? Better pay, larger platform, yet tougher hours? More autonomy, tighter network, better hours, yet worse pay?

It’s not comparing apples to apples. You always win some and lose some. What’s important is sticking with your decision and living with the consequences. You’re the one who has to wake up every day and go to work. You’re the one who has to do the work, day in day out. Money aside, can you do it? Will you love it? Will you loathe it?

It’s never easy. The interview process itself can be stressful and daunting. Managing one’s own recruitment process often requires delicate diplomacy, tenacity and tact. If you have a recruitment agent there to help you out, excellent – but be mindful that the agent’s interests may not always align with yours, especially when it comes to long term career prospects. People, either the hirers, recruiters, parents, significant others, well-meaning friends, will have ideas about how you should go about it. Gathering ideas and advice is helpful, but don’t forget to listen to that voice within.

If you’re able to negotiate an acceptable offer – great. It often takes a while to even get there – be patient and trust in your abilities even in the face of rejection. If you’re fortunate enough to have a few options to choose from – congratulations. But I also understand that choosing one over the other may cause some sense of loss. “What if” – we might ask. Or more practically, how do you handle the disappointment, or even anger, that ensues turning down an offer? One can manage the process the best he can, and be as transparent as candidacy allows without appearing vulnerable, but there will always be a party that’s being rejected. It’s either you, or the hirer. Learning to manage the disappointment on your part or on the hirer’s part is essential. Truth is, you can only really effectively manage yourself as discussed in Choice Theory, and carry yourself with as much integrity as possible. As to how others react – as long as you’ve behaved in the best faith possible, you can’t do much about it. More art than science really. I’m still learning.

If you have good career tips or job seeking advice to share, please ping away in the comments below. I also love this website – hope you equally find it useful.

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